Contrary to what many people believe, happiness is a choice. Happy people are happy because they make themselves happy. They maintain a mostly positive outlook, and practice habits that make their lives happier. Not surprisingly, our cats already practice many of these habits.

1.  Live in the present.

Cats live in the moment. When they’re lazing about in a sun puddle, they don’t worry about when the next sun puddle will show up – they simply enjoy the pleasure of the warmth on their fur, right now, in this present moment.

2.  Wake up at the same time every morning.

Have you ever noticed how many successful and happy people are early risers? Waking up at the same time each day keeps your circadian rhythm in balance, which keeps you calmer and more centered and also increased productivity.

3.  Eat well.

Junk food may make you feel good for a brief period of time, but in the long run, it will make you feel sluggish, not to mention take a toll on your health. Everything you eat affects not just your physical, but also your emotional and mental health. Eating fresh, whole, minimally processed foods will keep human and feline minds and bodies in good shape.

4.  Exercise.

Regular exercise is one of the best ways I know of to stay happy and healthy, and this goes for humans and cats.

5.  Meditate.

Even a five minute mini meditation at the beginning of your day can set the tone for a less stressful day. Better yet, take a few mini-meditation breaks during the day.

6.  Practice gratitude.

Gratitude makes you happy. Research by Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis into the psychology of gratitude has shown that people who practice gratitude are 25% happier.  They are more optimistic about the future and feel better about their lives.

7.  Accept what is.

One of the greatest sources of unhappiness is the inability to accept things as they are. Accepting what is, without wishing things were different, is is the key to living a positive, present life.

What are some of your happiness habits? What have your cats taught you about happiness?

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